Jaipur is one of those vintage cities that come alive on a black and white film. Its beauty and grandeur are not found in modern high-rises but in the intricacies of resplendent palaces, sprawling lush gardens and grand forts, which were built by the mightiest rulers of that time. A culinary odyssey that is centuries-old, arts that have prevailed against time and old bazaars and cine-structures that have aged gracefully, make Jaipur the gateway to the royal heritage of India.

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Day 1 Evening

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Evening: Check into one of the heritage hotels to live as the royals did (Bharat Mahal Palace, Rambagh Palace, Umaid Mahal or Alsisar Haveli Hotel, etc.). Equally mesmerising are homestays, where you can soak in the local culture and budgeted hotels with fantastic views of the laid out city.

8 pm: Acquaint yourself with the city by exploring Jawahar Circle Garden, one of the finest green spaces in the city. The garden is a sight to behold in the evening when its iconic musical fountain, with its 270 different water effects adorned with 300 lights, comes to life.  

10 pm: Languish like a royal in classy living rooms, dine in the finest areas and sample delicacies like gatte-ki-sabzi (gravy-based dish), ker-sangri (a dish made with ker berry and sangri beans), etc., or feast in the traditional Rajasthani-style of sitting cross-legged on the floor and relish sumptuous delectables, whilst watching performing folk dancers. 

Night Owl: Catch a night show at Rajmandir Cinema, whose ornamented high ceilings and beautifully adorned walls are reminiscent of a palace. Its fantastic lighting system and delicate floral scents make the experience a memorable one. Several classy lounges offer great nightlife opportunities.

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Day 1 Morning

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Any good morning in Jaipur starts with a great cup of tea, preferably served in a kulhad (a mud cup).

If you are up for an adventure, hiking or pedalling up to Nahargarh Fort is worth the sunrise you are likely to catch. For wildlife-lovers, Jhalana Safari Park, which is in the heart of the city is a great stopover for sighting leopards.

8 am: Have yourself a hearty breakfast of jalebis (pretzel-like syrupy sweets), pyaaz kachoris (a spicy fried snack with an onion filling) and hot samosas (fried pastries), served with imli (tamarind) and coriander chutney.

10 am: Explore the majestic Nahargarh Fort with its maze of stairways and courtyards unveiling royal history. Don't forget to hire a Government-certified tour guide to get the best of the rich history of the fort. After a satisfying tour, head to Jaigarh Fort.

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Day 1 Noon

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Renowned for housing Jaiban, the world's largest cannon, the Jaigarh Fort is located about 15 minutes away from Nahargarh. Stroll in its well-planned gardens and click pictures against the iconic Jaiban. You can get sweeping and picturesque views of the city of Jaipur from here. 

2 pm: Next on the list is the UNESCO World Heritage Amber Fort. Enjoy a delightful Rajasthani meal in one of its popular restaurants before you tour the fort.  

4 pm: Indulge in some shopping at the handicrafts and art stores and stalls inside the fort. Pop-up classes are run near the stores to acquaint visitors with the rich tradition of the crafts. From leheriya and bandhej to bagru and blue pottery, there are options galore.

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Day 2 Evening

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A visit to Amber is incomplete without catching the spectacular Light and Sound Show or son-et-lumiere. It brings to life the glorious days when the royal family used to reside here. The show is a visual treat with the Amber Fort in front of the audience and the Jaigarh Fort on the left, against the backdrop of craggy hills.  

8 pm: The Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial makes for a great visit at night when the flames seem to burn brighter due to the dark sky. It is around 20 minutes from Amber Fort.  

10 pm: Enjoy a meal of laal maas (mutton meat curry), safed maas (mutton-based white curry) or dal-baati-churma (a dish prepared with lentils, wheat rolls and sweet wheat) at local eateries to sample the rich cuisine of the city.

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Day 2 Morning

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Start your day with a stroll around Central Park. Its walkways are perfect for jogging and the park offers great birdwatching opportunities. You can also sign up for a hot air balloon ride that will take over picturesque vistas of Amber Fort, Jal Mahal, etc.  

8 am: Explore the local markets and sample some delicacies at the iconic Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar in the Old City. 

10 am: A short distance away lies the City Palace, which is the residence of the royal family. The Mubarak Mahal in the palace houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, which displays the royal family’s personal belongings like garments featuring exquisite embroideries. The Maharani’s Palace showcases one of the largest collections of weapons in the country. 

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Day 2 Noon

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The next stopover can be Hawa Mahal, which is Jaipur’s most iconic building, located near the bustling Johari Bazaar. With a fine honeycomb of latticed windows, the five-storeyed monument lives to its name, which means the palace of wind. Inside, there is a museum that houses Rajasthani miniature art and outside is a hub of stalls selling handmade jewellery, leather-crafted home decor items and the region’s famous silver jewellery.  

2 pm: Almost 10 minutes away from Hawa Mahal is Jal Mahal, which floats at the centre of the ethereal Man Sagar Lake. You can click pictures against the sandstone that paints a vivid image against the blue backdrop of the water and the distant rolling hills.  

4 pm: In the vicinity of the palace is the gorgeous Chameli Bagh, which is a paradise for birdwatchers. Some of the avifauna one can spot here includes pochard, coot, flamingo and kestrel. Finish up with some great snapshots of birds and the fantastic view.

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